Contact: Mike Bergman
Public Information Office
(301) 763-3030 (phone)
(301) 763-3762 (fax)
(301) 457-1037 (TDD)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, January 11, 2007
More Kids 'On Track' at School -- 1 in 4 Gifted -- According to Census Bureau Report on 'A Child's Day'
Seventy-five percent of children 12 to 17 years
old enrolled in school were academically “on track” (at or above
the grade level for peers their age) in 2003, up 6 percentage points since 1994,
according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest report on how kids are spending
Child’s Day: 2003 [PDF] is the third examination of children’s
well-being and their daily activities based on the Census Bureau’s Survey
of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Nearly 1 in 4 children in the 12-
to 17-year-old age group were in a special class for gifted students or did
advanced work in an academic subject.
- Parents were more likely to impose restrictions on TV viewing in the last
decade. For example, about 67 percent of children 3 to 5 had limits on what
television shows they could watch, when, and for how long in 2003, up significantly
from 54 percent in 1994.
- Eating with a parent was less likely to occur for teenagers than children
under 6. In 2003, 24 percent of children 12 to 17 ate breakfast with a parent
every day in a typical week, while 58 percent ate dinner together. Among children
under 6, 57 percent ate breakfast with mom or dad, and 79 percent were at
the table for dinner.
- About 72 percent of kids under 6 were praised by mom or dad three or more
times per day, compared with 51 percent of children 6 to 11 years old and
37 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds.
- Children 1 to 2 were read to an average of 7.8 times in the previous week
of the survey, while children 3 to 5 were read to an average of 6.8 times
in the previous week.
- In 2003, 18 million children (38 percent) under 12 had been cared for regularly
in a nonrelative child care arrangement at some point in their childhood.
Nearly half (47 percent) of 3- to 5-year-olds had been in nonrelative child
care — most likely preschool.
- Children 12 to 17 were more likely than children 6 to 11 to participate
in sports (42 percent and 36 percent, respectively). About one-third of both
groups participated in club activities.
- Aside from normal progression within a school system, 24 percent of children
6 to 11 and 41 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds had changed schools at some
time since first grade. For both age groups, there was little change in these
percentages since 2000, but both were lower than those reported in 1994.
- Eleven percent (2.7 million) of children 12 to 17 had been expelled or suspended
from school at least once in 2003. Boys (14 percent) were more likely than
girls (8 percent) to have been suspended.
- About 30 million children participated in the National School Lunch Program
in 2003, including 1.6 million kids under 6, 15 million 6- to 11-year-olds
and 13.4 million children 12 to 17.
Selected tables in the report include national
data for whites and non-Hispanic whites, blacks, Asian and Pacific Islanders,
These data were collected from February through May 2003 in the Survey
of Income and Program Participation. As in all surveys, these data are subject
to sampling variability and other sources of error.